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sheepdog demos

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We went to the highland games locally on Sat. I took my old dog, Seth, just to watch. He had a great time and people were constantly wanting to pet him and even take their kid's picture with him. He must have a sweet face or something. Of course he was very happy as he hadn't been to an event for a long time. I used to work Seth at lots of demos when he was younger. He loves kids and aside from working the sheep at the demos his favorite thing was kids and people making a to do over him. It was funny though he watched the sheep at the demo for a bit then decided it wasn't all that interesting. He still works sheep every day at my place and he's still very keen at 12 yrs old so I was surprised he wasn't impressed with the demos. He still had a great time though!

The guy doing the demos was Bill Coburn, I've never heard of him and wasn't real impressed with what I saw. Dog's were ok, sheep were nice and he had a really nice huge open area to work in. Anybody know him or anything about him? I wasn't able to watch a whole lot of it, so maybe he did more earlier.


My daughter and Seth at the demo.



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If the dogs were okay and the sheep were nice, what didn't you like about the demo? Bill is from SC and is well-known in this part of the world. I don't think he's trialing much anymore though (of course I'm not trialing at all right now, so I suppose he could be trialing and I just don't know about it).


From my experinece, people like demos that have lots of fun obstacles. They find that entertaining, whereas straight dog work (like you'd see at a trial), just isn't as attention-grabbing. I've done both types. Another thing I've noticed is that the average member of the public doesn't recognize when the work is substandard, and they actually like grips, running sheep, sheep challenging a dog, etc., because it's exciting.


I've never seen Bill do a demo, so can't really speak to how he does them.



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I've watched a couple of his demos and didn't see a thing wrong with them. He had very nice dogs. When I watched his "show" was geared more toward people who have never seen a border collie work. It was also limited in what he could do because of the crowd. Did he bring the ducks with him as well as the sheep?

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His dogs were good. I think the thing is he just didn't seem to do much with them. He was mostly talking then occasionally sending a dog around to gather them up. He just had a set of sheep that I saw, but I think it may have been different this year as they made him leave the area to bring in the caber toss. So it may be that his show wasn't the usual because of the set up? I don't know, I wasn't there last year. There were no obstacles or pens or anything like that. Just a big grassy area. Maybe his usual show is better and because he had to move out for the athletes he couldn't set up anything. His dogs did look like they worked well, but again because he did so little with them it was hard to tell.

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